Is transparency a dirty word?

Transparency is a 12 letter word, and it might as well be as dangerous as three “4” letter words. We use four letter words sometimes to express out utter disgust with certain aspects of life. Transparency is often looked upon as disgusting to some, but necessary to others. I will share prime examples of transparency in today’s business environment. Some of those examples are good and necessary for the function of organizations, but some are not meant for the greater good.

For example, I manage contracts and those employees that work on those contracts. Information flow is crucial to the success of managing contracts. There are deliverables that must be met to the satisfaction of the client, employee interaction with the client, vendors, and competition, and the corporate leadership that is overall responsible for the success or failure of contracts. If one person in the chain of responsibility knows something that other decision makers don’t…there is failure of transparency. What I fail to mention about contracts is most of the contracts I manage are for the DOD and “3” letter organizations. Those organizations succeed and fail based on close hold secrets, and the theory that if I know and you don’t, I win. A significant aspect of transparency is when these close hold secrets are shared with a public that views the transparency the same way they would a supermarket tabloid. It is necessary to have organizations that aren’t transparent in all the aspects of their existence.

There are few reasons to not to maintain transparency up and down the hierarchy of corporate America, however in certain aspects of the protection of our citizens and the nation with which we live, transparency is the Achilles Heel of our safety.

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